The Palestinian Return Centre (PRC), launched its five year Balfour Campaign during its annual conference in London.he Palestinian Return Centre (PRC).
It also commenced the 4th Palestine Memorial Week in the United Kingdom where a number of events are due to take place.
An international Conference was held on the 19th of Jan 2013 which was the launchpad of a week events around UK.The conference was titled, “Britain's Legacy in Palestine” and witnessed the inauguration of a five-year Balfour Campaign.The Saturday’s conference gathered MPs, academics, experts, activists and people from the general public to hear about Britain's Legacy in Palestine.
According to Nasim Ahmed, conference chair, Britain's historical footprint in Palestine is fossilised for centuries.
“Britain has left an indelible mark on Palestine and its disastrous repercussions are still felt now. In enforcing the Balfour Declaration, Britain sold out human right, self determination and representative government to privilege, not just a small Jewish community in Palestine but Zionism, which, just as significant, was a minority movement within the Jewish tradition itself.” Stated Ahmed
The case of the recent Mau Mau legal battle for compensation was presented and broached as a framework that could be developed and used for Palestinians.
The two morning sessions looked in detail at the motivations and political considerations that lead to the Balfour Declaration. In the two afternoon sessions, four different presentations provided many ideas on developing a five year campaign, which at its core was about restoration for historical injustice.
Main speakers were Prof Manuel Hassassian, Palestinian Ambassador to the UK, Dr Uri Davies (Academic and a civil rights activist), Dr. Alison Weir, Journalist and Activist, Director of If Americans Knew, Alan Hart. Renowned British Journalist and author, John Bond (British Australian activist who lead the Australian national sorry campaign), Rev Dr Stephen Sizer (British Author Activist and Incumbent of the Anglican Parish of Christ Church), Former British MP, Martin Linton, Maria Holt, Senior Lecturer in the Democracy and Islam Program at Westminster University, Mohammad Al Hamid, Head of PRC Board of Trustees, Dr Ghada Karmi, Writer/Academic and Activist, Daud Abdullah, Director of Middle East Media Mentoring (MEMO) and Sabah Al Mokhtar, President of Arab Lawyer Association
PRC is hopeful that the Balfour campaign will gather momentum over the coming months and years. It is encouraged by others who have launched similar campaigns. It hopes that with enough coordination and energy, it will galvanise people around the world and develop the support and mechanisms to judge Britain through the court of public opinion and more.
The memorial week will include a number of events across different universities in the UK, including the University of Greenwich, Imperial College, Kings College and Brunel University
A film screening highlighting the plight of Palestinian Refugees from Iraq titled, “Displaced in Diaspora” will be shown on 25 January 2013 from 6:30PM to 9:00PM. Event venue for the screening is: Hend House, 233 Shaftesbury Avenue, London, WC2H 8EH